Dumb Ways to Die wins big at Siren Awards

Staff Writer

The ad 'Set Fire to Your Hair', part of Metro Trains Melbourne campaign 'Dumb Ways to Die', has won the 2013 Gold Siren award for best radio ad of the year.

or hear it here

It also won Silver in the single category and the campaign category too.

Writer of the ad, John Mescall said: “We knew that people didn’t want to hear our message at all. It’s rail safety. Not only do young people not care about safety messages, but we know that they actively tune out these kinds of messages.

The winners with Mix 106.5's Rosso

“So our idea was to embed our rail safety message into a song: a piece of content so desirable, that our audience would not only willingly listen to it, but if we put it on iTunes, maybe actually pay money to own it. I guess the inspiration was to make a radio ad that was nothing like a radio ad, but a lot more like the content on either side of the ads: the music.

“We tried to make a radio ad that was nothing like a traditional radio ad. It’s a song first and foremost with a subtle but unmistakable message embedded into it. The fact that a lot of radio stations around the world have chosen to play the 3 minute version of our ad for free, as part of their music programming, tells us that we may well have pulled it off.”

CEO of CRA, Joan Warner said it was rare to win both the single and campaign categories at Sirens, which was a testament to the effectiveness and impact of the campaign.

“This campaign also highlights how well radio combines with other media, particularly the internet, to engage the audience and get a message across. It really exemplifies the strength of good radio advertising.”

The winning writers win $5000 and will be off to the Cannes Advertising Festival next month. The client, Metro Trains Melbourne, also gets to go along on the trip.

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